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        Point of View - Sharing a Perspective on Music

        Students share their opinions on music and write two critiques of a band playing the “St. Louis Blues,” one from their own point of view and one from that of a music critic. They reflect upon how their point of view influenced their opinion.

        Lesson Summary


        Students begin by sharing their ideas about music they enjoy and music they do not enjoy. Then they watch a segment of a band playing the "St. Louis Blues." Next, they write a critique of the music they just heard based on their opinion and a second critique from the prescribed point of view of a music critic. Students reflect upon how their point of view influenced their opinion. 

        Why is this an important concept?

        Learners bring a certain perspective with them to every learning situation. This perspective or point of view affects the opinions they form about new information and ideas. 

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        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Note: To avoid swaying students' responses, do not imply that this lesson is about jazz until students complete Part 1 of the Music Notes handout. Distribute the Music Notes handout. Allow students to complete Part 1 independently. Then allow two minutes for students to share their responses with a partner.

        2. Play the video "New Orleans Jazz," which shows a live band playing jazz. As they watch, ask students to pay attention to how the terms on the top of the Music Notes handout play out in this performance.

        3. After viewing, students should write their impressions of the performance using Part 2 of the handout.

        4. In small groups, allow students two minutes to discuss their impressions of the music. What do they like and dislike about it?

        5. Distribute the Music Critique #1 handout handout. Explain directions given on handout. Students complete Critique #1 based on their point of view about music. While students are writing, play the video again more quietly as background music.

        6. When several students have finished Critique #1, have them share their writing with the class. When completed, collect handouts.

        7. Distribute the Music Critique #2 handout. Explain directions given on handout. While students are writing, play the video again more quietly as background music. Students should complete the entire handout. As they get to the second question, hand back their responses to the Music Critique #1 handout.

        8. Go over their responses as a class. Discuss how students' point of view contributed to forming an opinion about the music. Discuss how they might apply what they have learned from this activity to information and ideas they learn about in other subject areas besides music. Lead them to the understanding that recognizing how their point of view influences their opinions will help enlighten any biases or perspectives they bring to their learning.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:
        • For students who need further experience with or explanation of the musical terms listed on the Music Notes handout, discuss and explicitly point out how each term is represented in the music in the video segment. For example, is the tempo of the music fast or slow?
        • Review how to write a critique and write persuasively. For example, list types of words such as surely, undoubtedly and furthermore that would reflect persuasive writing. Provide assistance with writing as needed.

        Part II: Assessment

        Distribute the Music Point of View Assessment handout. Assess students' understanding of this performance indicator: Their responses should indicate that an awareness of their point of view contributes to forming an opinion about information and ideas. This awareness will enlighten biases or perspectives and allow them to come to learning with a more open mind. Students who do not respond should be re-taught this strategy in a different way.


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